Tutorial to Growing with Cfl's

Discussion in 'CFL / Fluorescent Lighting' started by Dr.Chronic, Sep 9, 2008.


    Dr.Chronic Well-Known Member

    Tutorial to Growing with CFL’s by Doctor Chronic

    What is a CFL?


    A Compact Fluorescent Light is a type of fluorescent that was originally designed to replace the standard E26 Edison Incandescent Lamp. The reason being, CFL’s will put out the same amount of visible light using much less power and a significantly longer rated life span. Even though the price of the CFL’s is higher than Incandescent bulb’s, they are generally rated to run anywhere from 8,000 to 15,000 hours. There many advantages of using CFL’s. Maybe you are growing personal smoke, or you can’t afford an HID system, or an HID system just isn’t practical. For some, HID lights aren’t available in their area. However, CFL’s are sold almost anywhere (Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc…). CFL’s are in general a much cheaper growing solution, and their just plain simple to use –self-ballastedand it screw’s into a regular light socket. I’m NOT saying CFL’s are better for growing than HID‘s, but in some cases it’s the only thing that will work.

    CFL Wattage

    Now sometimes there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to power of the light due to poor labeling but we will do our best toclear all of that up. Normally light manufacturers that make CFL’s generally will put two numbers on the box your CFL comes in. One is Actual Wattage and one is the Incandescent Equal. As you can see here on this CFL the Actual Wattage is 23 Watts, and it’s Incandescent Equal is 100 Watt’s. You need to totally ignore the Incandescent Equal and pay attention only to the Actual Wattage of the Bulb.


    Color Temperature

    You might see a lot of different labels when shopping at the store for CFL’s. Label’s including Soft White, Warm White, Cool White, Bright White, Halogen White, Daylight White, Full Spectrum. And also label’s like 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K, 5000K, 6400K, and 6500K. These are all the color temperature of the light you are using. This is a measure of how warm or cool the light given off by a lamp appears, with warmer colors having a yellowish tinge and cooler colors being tinged with blue. What confuses some people is that the warmer a color is, the colder its color temperature is. (ex. Warm White = 2700K). Bulbs ranging in the 2700K-3000K spectrum are usually labeled Warm White or Soft White, bulbs ranging in the 3500K – 4000K spectrum are bright white or cool white, 5000K is labeled Full Spectrum, and finally 6400K – 6500K is labeled Daylight. You can grow an entire crop with CFL’s if you chose the right spectrum of bulb’s. For Vegetation you will want to use 6500K or 5000K, and when you flower you will want to switch to 2700K or 3000K . The reason being, throughout the year the plant’s outside receive more 6500K light because the day’s in summer are long and hot and as Autumn/Winter get’s closer the day get’s shorter, and gradually receives less 6500K light and more 2700K light as the plant flower’s. Do what you can to avoid bulbs within that 3500K – 4000K because they emit very little light that Is useful to your plant. Notice here the difference between the CT of these lamp’s


    How to use CFL’s?

    In order to efficiently use CFL’s to grow your MJ you will need to position the lights around 2 – 4 inches from the foliage of the plant. If you place the light too close, then your plant will have nothing to vertically stretch to and it will remain short and stocky. (Ex. My First Grow and FarmingToronto’s) Some people combat this by addingCFL’s to the side of foliage instead of on top of it. On the other hand if the light is too far away from the plant, the stem will suffer elongation (stretching), which will result in loose and fluffy bud’s.It is very important to note that when using CFL’s it’s a daily “battle” to have lights in the right spot. Many of us are in our grow areas at least once a day anyway, so to move your bulbs a bit really isn’t that big a deal. Also many people wonder is it better to have many low watt CFL’s or just a few high watt CFL’s. Both way’s are capable of provided you a good harvest but I suggest you chose the configuration that is easiest for you and your grow area.

    Where can I get these CFL’s?

    Many low wattage (23-42) CFL’s can be bought at locate retail giants , such as Wal-mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and just about any hardware store you can find. If you are looking to purchase higher wattage (42 – 200) CFL’s I would recommend ordering them online. http://www.1000bulbs.com/2-to-200-Watt-Compact-Fluorescent-Screw-In-Light-Bulbs/ has very good prices on CFL’s ranging from 2 – 200 Watt’s. http://www.buylighting.com/Non-Dimmable-Compact-Fluorescent-s/75.htm has a good selection ranging from 5 – 200 Watt’s in a wide range of spectrum’s. I have used both of these sites several times and I would recommend them to anyone that plan’s to grow with CFL’s.

    In the end there are many different GOOD setup’s so don’t set your mind on the ONE perfect CFL setup. Just apply these basic tip’s when starting a CFL grow and you WILL see success. If you have any questions or comment’s I would greatly appreciate it. I want to thank the one and only, FarmingToronto for editing this Tutorial. Sincerely

    FarmingToronto Well-Known Member

    Excellent Information Dr.

    We now have a nice tool to point new growers and those with the "basic" questions too !!

    Thanks from everyone using CFL's,

    Dr.Chronic Well-Known Member

    Thanks toronto, hows bout a click on the scales? :smile:

    beginningbotanist420 Well-Known Member

    this helped me out a lot. thank you!

    Dr.Chronic Well-Known Member

    No problem, hopefully this will put an end to alot of the conusion. FarmingToronto is going to be posting a Frequently Asked Question Section probably tomorow for even more information.

    Love420faces Well-Known Member

    The only blue spectrum for veg and only red spec for budding is new to me and i will give it a try.. thanks for the tip..
    Frajola likes this.

    mane2008 Well-Known Member

    good info so many ?'s on this.
    Good Look:D

    Dr.Chronic Well-Known Member

    Thanks :smile: how bout you show them scales some love!

    mane2008 Well-Known Member

    already done
    biggaaron74 likes this.

    Dr.Chronic Well-Known Member

    Mane did i meantion that you are the best.
    Really though, glad you could stop by...
    Phinxter, mane2008, devn00b and 3 others like this.

    SmokeUpJohnny Well-Known Member

    exactly what I've been looking for! thank you soooo much!
    diggitydank420 and jackOFspades like this.

    Dr.Chronic Well-Known Member

    Thanks! glad it could help! :bigjoint:
    Phd0420 and Bic like this.

    diggitydank420 Well-Known Member

    Great sticky Dr. Chronic!

    Dr.Chronic Well-Known Member

    Thanks digg!
    4every2day0 likes this.

    TLeom Active Member

    Good stuff man.
    Thcofgreen likes this.

    jackOFspades Active Member

    great job. rep+

    Dr.Chronic Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys!

    81Stoner Active Member

    Great Thread...thanx for the info...

    Sedition Well-Known Member

    Answers most of my questions on CFL growing. There is a couple I will b e posting in the FAQ section soon! Thanks a lot dude, +Rep

    SunshyneAlltheTime Active Member

    Thanks for the info...great tool.

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